Below is a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Karie Decker, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation director of wildlife and habitat, served on the 14-member Elk Management Plan Initial Guidance Citizens Group.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on Elk Management Guiding Principles developed by the Elk Management Plan Initial Guidance Citizens Group. This process was the first step in the revision of Montana’s Elk Management Plan.
FWP is interested in comments regarding whether the guiding principles are adequate in describing what the department should be striving to achieve in an updated Elk Management Plan.
The citizens group used a structured, facilitated process to develop the Guiding Principles. The structured process began by identifying and defining issues with current elk management, followed by development of the Guiding Principles. Each Guiding Principle addresses a single elk management issue and defines what success would look like if the issue was resolved perfectly. The group developed 19 Guiding Principles to address the six categories of issues that were identified. An overview of the structured process and the resulting Guiding Principles can be found at: https://myfwp.mt.gov/getRepositoryFile?objectID=101171.
FWP is also seeking public comment on its Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan. The plan was first approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission and implemented in fall 2017, following the first detection of CWD in free-ranging wild deer in Montana. The 2021 revisions to the plan build on prior plans and adds logistical details for implementation. This plan includes adjustments based on experience gained through surveillance, testing, management and outreach efforts since 2017.
The commission will consider public comments received regarding the Guiding Principles and the CWD plan prior to adoption.
To view and comment on the Guiding Principles and CWD Management Plan, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/hunt/public-comment-opportunities. Public comments will be accepted through Monday, May 3, at 5 p.m.
(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)